“Aguachile” is a vibrant sauce made from fresh chilies, herbs, citrus juice and aromatics that is perfect with any raw shellfish or fish resulting in a delectable combination of spicy, tangy, salty, sweet, bright and fresh flavours. It is a perfect appetizer or snack for any occasion.
“Aguachile” is loosely translated from Spanish into “water chili”, is a dish that originated from the coastal towns of Sinaloa, México. It is a dish where the raw seafood bathes in a bright and exciting liquid made from chilies, citrus juice, herbs and aromatic.
The first time I had Scallops Aguachile was at restaurant Cosme in New York City, a beautiful experience in which it became one of my favourite restaurants in the city. It was the wonderful combination of flavours, from the sweet freshness of the scallops along with the heat and acid from sauce that made my taste buds scream for joy!
For my recipe, I will be using “dry” scallops. In shopping for raw scallops, you will encounter 2 kinds, namely “wet” and “dry” scallops. Wet scallops are treated with water and chemicals that preserve them and make them hold on to more water right before freezing. Wet scallops tends to have a tougher texture, have a soapy or bitter taste and appear to be very white in colour due to the chemicals. Dry scallops, on the other hand are not treated with chemicals and not saturated with water. Dry scallops are very tender, and maintain the fresh, sweet and pure scallop flavours.
For my produce, I will be using Serrano and Fresno peppers, lime, cucumbers, red onions, garlic, tomatillo, cilantro and mint.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
1 pound Scallops, “dry packed”, sliced crosswise into a 1/4 inch thick discs
1 Cucumber, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch thick discs (3/4 goes into the blender, 1/4 remaining for garnishment)
2 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Serrano peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped (take the seeds out for less heat and spice level)
1 Tomatillo, stemmed and leaves removed, roughly chopped
1 small Red Onions, sliced thinly (1/2 goes into the blender, remaining half for garnishment)
3-4 Limes, juiced
1 tablespoon of extra virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon of Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
1 Fresno pepper, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
- Slice Scallops and 1/4 of the Cucumbers crosswise into 1/4 inch thick coins. Arrange on a single layer on a platter and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- In a blender, combine 3/4 of the Cucumbers, Garlic, Serrano peppers, Tomatillo, 1/2 of the Red Onions. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 Limes into the blender, add 1/2 of the Olive Oil, Cilantro and Mint. Blend until everything is puréed and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a serving plate, arrange the scallops and cucumber on a singly layer and pour the aguachile sauce over until everything is mostly covered. Garnish with onions and Fresno peppers. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
- Optional: You can top it with slices of avocados. Also, you can enjoy with tostadas or tortilla chips.